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Nodular corrosion data of Zircaloys in water reactor environments are reviewed to show that in addition to variables such as temperature, water chemistry, material, and irradiation flux, heat flux is an important variable. Qualitative evidence that suggests increased nodular oxidation rate with increasing heat flux at low heat fluxes and a reverse dependence at high heat fluxes where boiling occurs is presented. Previous quantitative measurement of incremental nodular corrosion above uniform corrosion is used to develop a phenomenological model that describes the dependence of nodular corrosion on these variables.
corrosion, nodular oxidation, Zircaloy, boiling water reactor
Program Manager, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA
Professor, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY